If you’re curious why the kids baptism process is different from adult baptism, here are what we believe to be some key differentiators:
We want to honor God and His Word.
We want to walk carefully, adhering to scripture regarding baptism. We hold to believer’s baptism, which means that baptism is celebrated after a profession of faith and as an act of obedience. Therefore, we do not baptize infants nor children prior to salvation.
We want to honor you and your family.
We have a unique team specially trained and experienced in walking with families through their child’s salvation and baptism. Our Kids Team is best suited to walk with families because of their ongoing interaction with parents and kids.
We want to honor your child.
There are unique elements to child baptisms such as a child’s ability to communicate heart change and emotion. We encourage parents to help their child respond from their heart rather than just adopt the language. We want to walk through the process in such a way that you feel confident in choosing a next step for your child, whether it’s baptism or not.
We want to honor their story.
We believe milestone moments are a big deal. Baptism is one of the most important milestone moments because it is a big part of a person’s testimony about Jesus Christ and His work in their life.
Parents are Disciple-Makers
At StoneWater, we believe that you, as the parent, are the primary disciple-maker of your children. With that, we recognize that you will be the one to offer a continual conversation on both salvation and baptism (see Salvation Resource). If your child approaches you about baptism, here are a few things to think about as you evaluate if this is the best next step for your child. Keep in mind, as a parent, you are guiding your child through a lifetime of faith so it is best for you to feel confident that your child can articulate the gospel in their own words and explain why the gospel is meaningful to them. We have provided some sample answers that demonstrate his/her readiness and answers that may help us determine that.
“What do you need to be saved from? Why?
The simple answer is sin. Sometimes kids may describe sin rather than saying the actual word, ie: the bad words, bad thoughts, or bad things that I do. When I mess up and do wrong things, it makes God sad and separates me from Him.
“What did God do to save you?”
Your child might say, “He sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins” or “When I admit that I’ve done wrong things, and believe in Jesus, I am forgiven and saved.”
As baptism is a personal expression of one’s love and identification with Christ, it is expected that this is a spiritual conviction of your child and not driven by anyone else. It should be an event that is primarily meaningful to your child and initiated by them.
“Why do you want to be baptized?”
- I want to tell the everyone that I love Jesus.
- I want to obey God and do what He wants me to do.
- Jesus was baptized and I want to do what Jesus did.
Your child can articulate why they want to be baptized and know what baptism is not: an action that leads to salvation, something “cool” to do, a membership requirement, or because a friend is doing it.
“Do you believe that baptism saves you? Why or why not?”
No, only believing in Jesus saves me. Baptism shows what already happened in my heart.
Note: Try to avoid “yes” or “no” questions and/or leading questions. Examples:
- “Do you believe that baptism is a symbolic, public display of your faith in Jesus who saved you?”
- “Do you believe that you are a sinner and that Jesus died on the cross to save you from your sins?”
It might be helpful to remember that a period of time between your child’s salvation or coming-to-faith moment and the actual baptism allows children to properly separate those two events. We believe this helps alleviate further confusion down the road in understanding that they are saved by faith and not by being baptized.
I think my child is ready, what is next?
Contact us. The contact info specific for your campus is below, along with a step by step guide of what to expect. Send an email to your campus and we will be in touch with you to set a time to meet and discuss next steps.
The process looks like this:
Contact us at your campus to schedule a family baptism meeting.
When we meet, we want to hear your story. We want to know your child’s story from your perspective. When did they accept Christ? What has the Lord been speaking to you about their salvation and baptism? What do you discern regarding their readiness?
Next, we want to hear their story. We want to hear from them about their encounter with Jesus. There are some necessary basics of belief that we want you to see in your child so that you, your child, and your church family can be confident that your child is saved and baptism is the next best step.
If Your Child Is Ready
If we all agree that your child has accepted Christ and has a salvation foundation, we will advise in one of two ways:
- Go for it! We believe based on your testimony and theirs that this is the right time for baptism and we will be there to celebrate with you.
- Our Baptism Team will reach out to you to discuss the baptism date and next steps to prepare for the big day!
- Once a baptism date has been confirmed, feel free to invite family and friends to celebrate with you.
- Take a little time. We believe based on your testimony and theirs that time will only sweeten their decision to be baptized. Don’t feel the need to rush what could be more impactful and memorable for your child later.
If Your Child Needs More Time
Reevaluate at a later date
If after our conversations, we feel that your child is not ready for baptism, but would benefit from more time, we will provide you with some great resources to help you continue the salvation conversation and we can re-evaluate further down the road.